Tony-MontanarellaSgt. Tony Montanarella of the Anaheim Police Department penned a column that appeared in the OC Register yesterday (for those who unable to penetrate the paywall, here’s a PDF of the op-ed).

Sgt. Montanarella calls out three areas in which he urges reform:

  1. “Promote and advance the most qualified and most experienced candidates.”
  2. “Capitalize and take full advantage of all the methods of communication we have at our disposal.”
  3. “Put our own house in order first.”

Sgt. Montanarella also states his belief that the upcoming selection of a new police chief is the “most important selection…in the department’s history.”

Montanarella alleges that “for years promotions and specialized assignments were based on favoritism and cronyism and not qualifications and experience. The results were an incestuous and corrupt system in which officers were promoted and advanced based on who they were aligned with. When it came time to perform, they fell far short.”

He also laments that “the department is obsessed with catering to a very angry, vocal minority with political agendas at the expense of the overwhelming majority of the population we serve who support us and appreciate what we do.”  Although he doesn’t identify  the “very angry, very vocal minority” – although I think we can guess to whom he is referring.

It’s hard to argue with Sgt. Montanarella’s prescriptions. Who wouldn’t be in favor of promoting the most qualified candidates? As for the allegations he makes, I don’t know enough to judge them one way or another. It is certainly food for thought, and I agree this police chief selection is a critical one, and whoever does take the rains shouldn’t accord undue influence and attention to a vocal minority in Anaheim who believe the worst in police and view gangs and gang members through a soft-focus lens.

I did do some Googling, and Sgt. Montanarella is also an active supporter of our 2nd Amendment rights and a member of the California Rifle and Pistol Association Board of Directors— which makes me like him a lot right there. He’s also a collector of World War I and World War II militaria – and as a military history buff that causes me to esteem him even more.